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Queens Chronicle

Developer pulls plans for Ridgewood popup beach

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Posted: Friday, June 24, 2016 1:35 pm

La Playa NYC has been shut down before it could even open.

According to the developer of 176 Woodward Ave. in Ridgewood, there will be no popup beach and beer garden operated by the Rockaway Brewing Co. at the site as planned.

"We pulled the plug on the plan," said David Schwartz, a principal at Slate Property Group, in a Tuesday phone interview. "It just became too much."

Schwartz said the hope was to have the venue open by early June, but securing a certificate of occupancy and a liquor license — all while a number of area residents voiced their opposition to the plan — meant La Playa NYC could not open until August at the latest.

"I don't think we had the time to address the people's concerns, there wasn't enough time to handle anything," he said. "It wasn't enough time to make it worthwhile. You can't just be open for August."

Schwartz added that everyone involved is disappointed the popup beach plan didn't work out, but that the developer is still hoping to involve Rockaway Brewing in the proposed 125-unit residential complex planned for the site in some way.

"We'll figure out a different way to incorporate these guys because they're great operators with a great product. "We think it would be a nice thing for the neighborhood." 

Rockaway Brewing had faced an uphill battle ever since announcing plans in the spring to place one of its five allowed remote locations at the site.

Earlier this month, a number of residents voiced their opposition to the plan to Community Board 5, while the State Liquor Authority said last Tuesday it would not vote on a liquor license for the popup beach until the owners could attain a new certificate of occupancy.

Rockaway Brewing co-owner Marcus Burnett told the SLA he hoped to acquire one within the next three or four weeks.

In August 2014, after a year-long debate among CB 5 members, the site was officially rezoned from manufacturing to residential with a commercial overlay — to allow for something like the popup beach to open — making way for construction of a housing complex.

Work is expected to begin on the residential building in September.

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